Sunday, March 29, 2015

My dearest Family,

We started out the week fast with all the District Leaders in the mission coming here to Arequipa for our DLs Training Meeting that took place on Monday night and Tuesday till 1PM. Then we took a breather (like 4 hours) and got ready for our second Training Conference with the Sister Leaders that took place Tuesday night and Wednesday till 12PM. After we ate lunch with the sister leaders on wednesday we hopped in the car with President and Hna. Zobrist to head down to Moquegua for a meeting with the ZLs and the DLs and Sister Leaders of their zone and then have dinner with them. President and us divided up the zones to visit this week-we were in Moquegua and Ilo and he continued down to Tacna for the weekend.Wednesday night we spent the night there at the hotel Mirador which was great! In the morning (Thursday) we got up and visited the whole zone really quick before hopping in a tiny car to travel down to visit the zone in ilo. There we visited with the zone and then had a special meeting with just their ZLs and DLs before eating lunch with them. After our meeting with them, we got to go and do divisiones with some of the elders that were training new elders and the ZLs. And i really enjoyed it actually. It was great to be able to help them out a bit and show them some new techniques and ways to better teach and place a baptismal date on a lady who has been struggling for a very long time now. It will sure be great to get back into the field here in a couple of weeks because i miss that type of feeling....traveling and training all the time is fun, dont get me wrong, but its just not the same and i miss it. But i will serve faithful in this assignment till the end. 
Thursday after the day had ended, we CRASHED in the hotel ilo. We needed to get up and move fast friday morning to catch a mini-van heading back for Arequipa (4-5 hours away) because we had another meeting with a zone here in Arequipa at 1PM. The problem was that there is a new mine opening up here and the people HATE that (the farmers especially) and so they went on strike. When they usually do go on strike they block all the highways up and nobody can move that was our biggest worry....getting back to arequipa. Luckily we caught one of the buses that just made it past all the chaos and we were able to make it into arequipa about 15 mins before we started our meeting. haha so we being very tired, bought some M&Ms to get some sugar into us and then start ANOTHER meeting with the ZLs and DLs of that zone. Then we had some lessons in the nighttime  So the action, non stop week came to a close!!!!! 
Busy busy busy. And that is just the start....
We will be flying down to Tacna on Monday at about 1PM and will be there till Thursday and then fly back here to arequipa. We will be doing divisiones and meetings again and then once we are here in Arequipa again we continue with some of the zones here. Then ITS GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! For that i am very excited!! Cant wait for that. 
So there is your highlights from the week that we had down here in Arequipa. The training meetings last monday through wednesday went really great actually. We got to talk about their responsiblities a bunch and help all the new, young leaders out just a bit. The mission is very young now it seems like. So we got to be constantly helping and instructing and guiding. But they will do great and will learn very fast. 
So funny story: So tuesday evening for the Sister Leaders Conference, president decided to change up what we usually do for dinner. So president tells us that we will be doing a very FANCY dinner for the sisters that we were like "Great! we are going to eat super good!!! :)" haha and then he tells us that we (President, my comp and i) will be serving the Sisters their dinner and deserts. And it turned out to be really fun and the sisters loved it! We did eat really good steaks that president cooked up, followed along by salads and potatoes and carrots and the cake. Sister Zobrist really decorated up the table and the sisters were in shock. Yes, the 3 handsome servers (us) were in our black suits with the plaques and in Bowties! haha we looked great! :) it was a fun night and it followed the next day with a great training meeting. 
As for our pday today...we visited some other waterfalls as an office. and now we are tired.....:) 
I loved the pictures you guys sent. congrads on such a great job with the pageant...keep that up! I know the lord will bless you so much for giving up your time and talents to represent him in this time as we remember his resurrection. help others understand the importance of this marvelous event. Share it with as many as you can. I love you all a ton! but you already know that :)
pray for me. pray that we can alwyas do what the lord asks of us. Pray that we can help this mission improve always. He lives and he is watching over me. 
Till next week,

1-4-3 as always.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Trainings, Meetings, Traveling....that pretty much sums up the week. Alright, So we will see you guys next week! :)
Jk...Well, this week flew just like all the other ones. We were busy doing informes and other letters for the mission on monday and tuesday and visiting zones seeing how all them are doing. We are dedicating a lot of time now to visiting each zone and the leaders in that zone (ZL, DL, HL) and talking about each companionship and fixing problems and seeing how we can do things better. Then we would go out to lunch with them. We did 3 zones this last week on Wed, Thurs, and yesterday. The meetings have really turned out great and we are seeing how the leaders are doing with their zones and districts and the mission is improving. Thats always great to see. 

We traveled out of Arequipa on thursday to the city of Mollendo on the beach and had a good meeting with them. And on wed, and friday, we stayed here in arequipa to do some of the meetings. 

Other news thats happening around here is we are doing another recital muscial and have been preparing those songs with 2 zones here in arequipa. i have been asked to perform on the violin again...some of the old songs and some new ones too. i also have been asked to play in sacrament meeting with the relief society sisters next sunday and i have been teaching violin lessons to a family here in our ward for a couple of weeks now. And its been fun. So i am still using the violin...maybe even a little bit more than usual...but its a goal that i have. especially since i wont be getting to use it for a while as the weeks come up because we are going on a full traveling schedule of the whole mission once more this week and next and then president decided that we should do zone conferences one more time before i leave the office. 

As for a forecast of the schedule for this next week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are Training meetings with the District Leaders and then Sister Leaders. Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday will be traveling to Moquegua and Ilo for meetings and divisions with the leaderships in each zone. And friday we come back to teach violin lessons and really have a half day to visit all our investigators before its pday, then sunday and then we go traveling again on Monday. 

Regarding my spiritual experience of the week, i would definately have to say that in my studies and in preparation for the trainings that we are going to have i have certainly felt the spirit guiding my thoughts and helping me know what i need to say to the specific people that i will be meeting with or training. Our investigators are doing great. We were sure having a problem with one and couldnt find him for a while, but we were praying and praying that he would be home and we went and found him and had a great lesson with him. He was almost in tears and is excited once again to continue on listening to us and learning. We have found another guy and the lessons with him this last week have been great. so we expect him at church along with hna. joanna who is progressing very fast with all the lessons and reading. So we visit those who we can during the time slots available. 

love the work. always have. got to keep going strong and helping as many as i can. i love you all. grateful for you. proud of you. and i pray for you. always. 

have a wonderful week. be safe. 



Sunday, March 15, 2015


I certainly wont be forgetting this day ever because our investigator, Elena, was baptized! :) We a had a very special baptismal service. President Zobrist came along with his children and grandchildren who have come this last week on a visit to see grandpa and grandma! :) 

It has been great to see his two grandchildren and one on the way. The family is great and we have certainly gotten to know them and president has just been so happy lately. i mean really happy! haha i was sitting here in the office the other day and i get this call and its president and he tells me, "Hey Elder Birtcher! Im down here in Ilo on the beach with my family (yeah, mission presidents dont have the same rules as us...) and i am so happy!" so i started laughing and we talked for a bit and he began to tell me about everything that he was doing and that they were going to go and find a nice restaurant to eat at....all in all...i finally asked him, so president, is there anything specifically that you need me to do right now (i thought he might have needed something due to calling me...) and he goes "nope! just wanted to talk to you, take care okay. bye!" it was hilarious. my best buddy, President zobrist, was calling me to tell me that he was super happy! :) 

i love president and his family! like a lot! :)

So its been a heck of a time with presidents family coming into town and we were busy with trainings all this last week. Monday was the training of the trainers which turned out to be really uplifting and we are excited for this next group of trainers. We picked up their greenies on Tuesday and debriefed them as well. This new group is really excited and really fun to have and talk with! i sure enjoyed it. Wednesday and thursday we were training the Zone Leaders and Hermana Leaders from all over the mission, and friday we were busy doing some work here in the area!

I am super happy, even though i am super tired. Our now convert, Elena, is sure increible. She was so nervous and scared to get baptized even though she knew she needed to do it. But she prayed a ton! She told everyone today in her baptismal service that she was scared and stayed up till 3am last night praying for god to help her be calm and to allow her to have the courage to go through with it. And that is exactly what she recieved, courage. Because, apparently her boss, a very anti-mormon person said that she wasnt going to be getting time off today to come and get baptized, and that she would have to work all day long till 7-8 PM, and elena told everyone that she had already scheduled an appointment with God at 3:30PM in the church for her bapitsmal service, and she would not be missing it. She explained that directly after her baptism she would be returing to work, and come what may but i am happy. and i know i did the right thing. She is an amazing woman. it was a testimony builder to me to also put the things of the world in second place and always put god first, just like she did.

i am sure proud of her and of another investigator we are working with, her name is Joanna. She came to church this last sunday after she was invited to by a friend. Her friend didnt even show up that day for church, but she did and we got to sit by her and talk and explain just a little bit before the sacrament meeting started. She is 25 years old, and is just AWESOME! after her principles of the gospel class, she asked if we could teach her the discussions right then and there. We were happy to do that, so we taught her the 1st discussion about joseph smith and the restoration which she just loved. We visited with her yesterday morning and she excepted to read the book of mormon and go further in learning. We asked her "hermana, if these things are true, what do you think you should do?" and she responded that she would continue learning and do what we asked her to do. And so we said, "well, we would like to invited you to be baptized..." and she goes, "yeah, sure." she is golden and is loving what she is feeling and finding. I called her last night and said, hey i know you are super busy, but we have a bapitsmal service at 3:30 tomorrow if you want to come and she what its like....and she CAME!! sola. just walked right in and sat down and then stayed and talked with us afterwards. The members of the ward are doing a great job fellowshiping her and invited her to stay for a karaokee activity afterwards! so we are excited to see her in church tomorrow and continue on teaching her! pray for her! 

As for our other guy, fabricio, we finally found him. we are praying for him and are going to give him some extra attention in teaching him



So that is what is happening around here...its been great! i am loving it! 

As for a forecast of what this week holds for us: i really dont know actually. i had it all planned out, but then president change it all on me on the last second, so i will have to talk to him on monday and reajust some things.... but i know we will certainly be busy. as always!

love you guys, enjoy all that is going on back home. know you are loved and prayed for! nos vemos pronto,



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Well Hello,

We have arrived yet again for changes. these last 6 weeks have flown by! This last week things have been crazy, and it wont stop being crazy until the middle of April. We were busy with getting the old missionaries all set to go home and we had their farwell meeting and shipped them out thursday and friday. We have been busy planning with President Zobrist all the changes taking place tomorrow and have been running around visiting zones and making sure everything is going smoothly here in the grand mission of Peru Arequipa! :) 

But we get hecktic again in the schedule with trainings all this next week. Monday and Tuesday we get the newbies and their new trainers and train them both up. Wednesday and Thursday all the zone leaders and hermanas leaders are coming in to arequipa for leadership council. And then we have a baptism on Saturday! 

Even though it has been busy, we have seen many miracles and have seen the lords hands in changing peoples hearts and helping us find some new ones to listen to us. 

One such miracle has been with a sister named Luz. We have been working with her for a while. She is not a member, but her 2 kids are baptized. She wanted to when her kids got baptized but had some problems with living with this guy and couldnt do it then...but had the desires to listen to us again after a year since the elders had returned to her house. She has come to church a bunch and knows it true but has been struggling to commit to baptism. So we had a great little lesson with her about having faith in the lord and about repentance and that hte spirit will guide her afterwards and to not fear, but be prepared. So we ended the lesson by saying, but your fears on the table and just ask the lord what he wants and when he wants you to be baptized. She came to our stake conference that we had sunday and then our next lesson with her  was awesome. I dont know how the subject came up, but she asked us when we were ending our missions, and since my companion and i are in the same group we said, "in july," and she gets this sad expression and says, "i dont want you guys to go, but i guess i better get baptized before july comes no?" so we laughing said, hermana, in talking about baptism, have you recieved an answer yet? she explained that she hadnt recieved a specific answer but that she was super excited to do it. So we started talking about a baptism goal for her...and we said, " hermana, we personally would love for it to be this next saturday, the 14th, but if you feel that you need more time, we can do it on the 21st. which one do you think is better?" and right away says, no i think the 14th we can do it! 

She is ready, and she is excited to do it. We have been going back a bunch visting her and helping her out more. but we love her and are excited for her to get baptized this next saturday. 

Fabricio our other guy, has disappeared. i have no idea where he has gone to. but our search for him has not ended :) haha we will be trying to communicate with him and try to invited him to the baptismal service this next saturday. hopefully that will excited him even more. :) 

but good things happening here in arequipa. how is everything back home? getting ready for spring break?? what are your guys´ plans? 

i love you all a whole bunch. i pray for you all constantly. have a wonderful week. and i will talk to you guys next week! 

con mucho amor, 

Elder Weston 

 Elder Birtcher
 Misión Perú-Arequipa